Saturday, September 2, 2017

Guided Reading Groupings {Guided Reading Series 1}

One of the best parts about teaching is that every year is so vastly different. Different students means different dynamics and different needs. This year, we also have a different reading program so it means learning a new curriculum to best meet the needs of my students.

Since we have this new program and I am short a day of teaching reading due to how my specials worked out, my team agreed to teach one story over two weeks instead of trying to rush it all into one week. I am very grateful for this for two reasons: the students need to be able to really dig into a text to close read, analyze and really put the strategy to use; secondly this schedule will allow me to utilize the resources I need to in order to help boost my students' reading abilities.

I have a special smack in the middle of my reading block on Wednesday so my schedule will be split in half over the course of the week. Since I will have 8 total days for reading instruction over the two week period (sometimes only 7 due to days off or whatnot), I will have more face to face time with each group and none of my groups get slighted. (I have always hated that usually my highest group gets slighted from having face time with me due to time constraints.)

I put together a rotation schedule to keep myself on track with this new 8 day rotation. It looks like this:

Day 1 is pretty much all whole group. We will do our spelling pre-test and complete the anchor activities that will help build background and prepare students for independently reading through the story. Day 1 (which 99% of the time will fall on a Monday) will be the only day in the rotation that we will teach any reading whole group. The rest of it will all be done in small groups so I have time to scaffold and support my kiddos right there at the small group table. 

Day 2-7 allows me to rotate students so that each child sees me three times over the course of the story. The blocks will be about 28 minutes long (with two minutes for transition) so we can really get into the heart and soul of the text and strategy we are working on. I love this because it will give me a day to get them back into the actual anchor text, use the leveled reader AND complete the close reading activity. No rushing to try to get everything in!

Day 8 is reserved for the spelling test and the test that accompanies the story. The Journeys weekly tests are LONG (like 50 questions!). The good news is, we can go in and take out parts we don't feel fit our students' needs. Let's say I have a group who really needs to focus on vocabulary. I could create my lesson plans in such a way that those kiddos are getting more targeted vocabulary instruction and then choose to make sure they get the vocabulary questions on their test. Another group may really be struggling with phonics and I could provide more targeted instruction with phonics for them and then choose to give them those questions on their test. So really every group could have different tests based upon their needs. And it would take me less than 15 minutes to set up all of those different tests in Think Central to meet the needs of my class! Bonus!

So there you have it. We are going to give this schedule a try starting Tuesday. (For the record, I grouped my kiddos by their spring MAP data since we won't MAP until the week of September 11.) 

The next post will provide information about the rotation stations the students are in. Stay tuned!


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